Sta-Tan celebrates half a century

Published 10:31 am Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sta-Tan Pool Swim Club celebrated an important anniversary this year.

Pearl Staton still remembers when her husband Harlan and his brother Fred bought the land in North Ironton 50 years ago.

“I thought it was wonderful,” said Mrs. Staton.

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Since then, Mrs. Staton said she has never missed a day of work (or play) at the pool.

The swim club is a members’ only Olympic-sized pool that opened in 1960.

This year they had a two-day celebration with live music, a dunk tank and a water slide.

Mrs. Staton’s daughters, Kathy Cunningham and Alice Brown, remember growing up there, learning to swim and working at the pool.

Alice, now 60, was in the sixth grade when Sta-Tan opened. She served as a lifeguard at the pool and now works in the office with her sister.

“We’ve taken over most of Mom’s duties,” said Alice.

And how does Mrs. Staton spend her days at the pool?

“Playing cards and dominoes everyday,” she said. “I love it.”

Kathy, now 50, said she remembers taking naps on a cot in the kitchen while her mom ran the concessions stand. The pool opened when she was only 1-year-old.

Kathy was also a lifeguard, only after she was promoted from cleaning the grounds and folding chairs, she said.

Kathy said she still enjoys it after all these years.

“I like watching the kids have fun, being able to enjoy the summer.”

The sisters said that the pool is also known for its concessions.

“We’re known for our hotdog sauce,” said Alice.

Mrs. Staton said she is still using the recipe her sister-in-law gave her all those 50 years ago.

“We’ve been using it ever since,” she said.

Mrs. Staton’s secret recipe has been passed on to Alice, but Kathy hasn’t been told yet.

“It’s not my turn to know,” Kathy said.

They also have a unique sandwich called the crumbly hamburger.

This year, Sta-Tan had about 200 families sign up for memberships. When the pool debuted in 1960, they had about 800 families.

Each year the pool opens on Memorial Day and closes on Labor Day.

Kathy and Alice said that on the last day of the season, there will be free food until it runs out. There will also be water balloons with shaving cream.

The pool’s hours are Tuesdays and Sundays noon to 8 p.m., and all other days 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For information about memberships call 532-1306.